Frequently asked Questions

I have been told “people don’t have surveys in France”. Is this true ?

It is completely untrue. And anyone telling you that should probably know better. It is true that the French themselves hardly ever commission a survey, partly for historic reasons and partly because there are few French building surveyors. But very many English-speaking buyers would not dream of buying a house in France without first obtaining a survey – provided they can find a suitable surveyor. You have just found one!

I’m not sure I need a survey. Is it really necessary ?

A pre-purchase survey may not be essential but is probably advisable. Carried out by a properly qualified and experienced surveyor it will identify any problem areas, or potential problems, which might involve you in expense now or in the foreseeable future. It will also put any such problems into context, telling you which are serious and which are not, and how soon they might need to be dealt with. If nothing else it will give you confidence and peace of mind about your intended purchase. Building construction in France (including – among other things – water supply, electricity services and, above all, drainage) differs from that in the UK and you should therefore choose a surveyor with proven experience and a good track record of surveying French property.

What exactly is a Chartered Building Surveyor, and why should I choose one ?

A Chartered Building Surveyor is specially qualified in the detail of building construction. Click here for further details.

How much does a survey cost ?

There are no set fees for surveys. Ian Morris bases his fees principally on the “bulk” of the building(s) to be inspected, and to some extent on how far he has to travel; nothing to do with the value of the property or the area of land. Once he has sufficient details of the building(s) he is happy to quote a “fixed fee” in advance, in writing, without any obligation or commitment. The fee quoted will be inclusive of all expenses: there is nothing more to pay.

Does the fee have to be paid in advance ?

Not normally. In most circumstances Ian asks for the fee to be paid after the survey has been undertaken.

How soon will I get the report ?

You can expect a verbal report, by telephone, within 36 hours of Ian getting back to the office – but a little longer if it is a large property; this is to allow time for checking through many pages of notes made at the property. A dictated and printed report  (where selected) will normally be sent by e-mail and by post within 7 days after that.

Are fees charged in euros or in sterling ?

You choose. If payment is made in sterling there is no additional charge for currency exchange – unlike some other English surveyors working in France ! Payment by direct bank transfer (internet banking) is preferred, in either currency.

For a straightforward answer to all other queries please do not hesitate to contact Ian Morris.